Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Federal Judge changes Dene Tha' ruling: MGP Hearings Resume

This is a setback, and what form of setback is a matter of interpretation. It is a signal that the nations of the North are expected to take a payoff or get steamrolled. It is also an attempt to use the usual doublespeak manner of the Canadian State: not allowing the supreme court ruling to actually effect the economic situation for the Mackenzie Gas Project by delaying the process, but forcing the cosmetic change in the JRP final report. However, it should be noted that decisions on whether or not the MGP goes ahead will come from something other than a federally orchestrated panel. It comes from the actions of the people, first and foremost the nations in pathway of this proposed MGP.


Judge decides pipeline hearings can go ahead

By The Canadian Press - For Business Edge
Published: 02/09/2007 - Vol. 7, No. 3

A judge has decided that all scheduled social and environmental hearings into a proposed $7-billion natural gas pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley can go ahead.

Federal Court Justice Michael Phelan has lifted a stay he issued last November on all sessions of joint review panel hearings that dealt with issues affecting the Dene Tha' First Nation.

That means the sessions can go ahead as previously planned, which will help the hearings finish earlier. But the panel still won't be able to issue its final report to the National Energy Board until the Dene Tha concerns are dealt with.

"We've agreed to let them finish their hearings, but they're still stopped from making their final report," said Dene Tha' lawyer Robert Freedman.

Freedman said a meeting to discuss how to address the Dene Tha concerns is to be held in May after the panel is scheduled to wrap up.

Phelan's original ruling out of Federal Court in Vancouver said Ottawa failed to consult with the Dene Tha'.

A regulatory process that brought federal energy and environment officials together with Aboriginal groups along the route was set up in 2002. But the Dene Tha', who number about 2,500 members on seven reserves in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, were excluded from those discussions.

That's because the final leg of the pipeline and the infrastructure connecting it to existing networks would be in northern Alberta, falling under that province's jurisdiction.

The Dene Tha' argue that omitting the connecting facility from the main hearings robs them of any input. While all other Aboriginal groups have some kind of representation on the panel, the Dene Tha' are restricted to making a presentation.

Phelan wrote the development on Dene Tha' lands was just as much part of the pipeline as any other work.

Oilsandstruth.org is not associated with any other web site or organization. Please contact us regarding the use of any materials on this site.

Tar Sands Photo Albums by Project

Discussion Points on a Moratorium

User login


Syndicate content